The Pentagon is ordering a state of heightened military readiness due to the growing threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Eighty-five hundred U.S.-based troops have been put on standby. Spokesman John Kirby said the NATO alliance, including the U.S., can rapidly deploy forces if NATO interests are jeopardized. Ukraine is not a member of NATO. Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded assurances that Ukraine will never join NATO.
President Biden has the final call on whether to deploy additional U.S. forces to Eastern Europe and the Baltic region. During an earlier briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki noted U.S. forces have had a presence in the region for decades. Kirby said there are U.S. military advisers and trainers in Ukraine, but stressed there are no plans to insert combat troops there.